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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Announces $600,000 in Supplemental Funding for Additional Clean Up and Reuse of Brownfield Sites in Kentucky

06/11/2020
Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (region4press@epa.gov)
404-562-9203, 404-562-8400

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 11, 2020) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the agency is providing $6.9 million in supplemental funding for 25 current successful Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grantees. The city of Louisville, Kentucky will receive $300,000 and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet will receive $300,000 for local projects. The RLF supplemental funds are being provided to communities that have demonstrated success in using their Revolving Loan program to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The funds will be used to continue their progress in reusing vacant and abandoned properties and turning them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, and commerce opportunities.

Every community receiving additional funding today from the EPA has Opportunity Zones within their jurisdiction, meaning these cleanup activities at local brownfield sites will not only address legacy contamination, but also spur new economic opportunities where it is needed most,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This supplemental funding supports the Trump Administration’s commitment to reinvest in communities and provide opportunities by addressing properties with environmental challenges to improve human health and the environment.”

“I’m proud of the continued partnership we’ve been able to forge between the Environmental Protection Agency, Metro Louisville, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky to help ensure a safer and healthier future,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY—03). “The supplemental funding announced today will revitalize Brownfields sites across our city and state and improve both the environmental and economic health of our community. These targeted federal investments can be transformative, which is why I’m so proud to be part of this announcement.”

“This EPA funding is going to communities in Kentucky with a proven track record for successfully cleaning up and redeveloping local brownfield sites,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “The recipients receiving supplemental funding this year are undertaking turnkey projects with the goal of creating jobs and restoring confidence in the local economies.”

“Brownfield redevelopment, whether in urban areas or rural communities, is a chance to heal communities that have been disproportionately impacted by contamination, reinvent economies and create shared spaces that are chosen by community members,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.  “This funding will not only provide communities with monies for cleanup, but also will provide opportunities to bring together private and public funding for needed projects.”

All of the communities receiving supplemental funds have census tracks designated as federal Opportunity Zones within their jurisdiction. An Opportunity Zone is an economically distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Most often, those who reside near these sites are low-income, minority, and disadvantaged Americans. When coupled with leveraged funds, such as other Brownfield grants or Opportunity Funds, Revolving Loans can be a powerful tool for revitalizing a community of need.

When Revolving Loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned to the fund and lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community. To date, EPA’s Revolving Loan grantees across the country have completed 759 cleanups and attracted approximately 45,000 jobs and $8.4 billion in public and private funding.

The Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government will fund two projects with an award of $300,000. The subgrant will be used to fund projects for Housing Partnership, Inc. and Two Shipps, LLC. Housing Partnership, Inc., a non-profit, is requesting funding to develop affordable housing in the city.  The funds will be used to remediate lead-paint and asbestos at the 5-story Axton-Fischer Warehouse. When completed the former candy factory will include retail and office space on the floors 1-3, housing on floors 4-5, and a parking garage in the basement. Two Shipps, LLC is requesting funding to remediate metals contamination at a former recycling center for conversion into an in-fill mixed use development.

“We are grateful to the EPA for these additional funds that will support projects that revitalize our city’s most historic neighborhoods and improves the quality of life and health for all our residents,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is evaluating several projects with demonstrated need for the $300,000 in funding. Projects being considered are Bluegrass Station for Lead Paint and Asbestos remediation in Lexington; City of Beattyville Work Progress of America Building for lead paint and asbestos in Beattyville, KY; Paducah Art House in Paducah, KY for lead paint and asbestos; Owsley County Alliance for Recreation & Entertainment, Inc. for jumpstarting projects and helping establish programmatic capability to better compete for federal brownfield cleanup grants; and City Burksville Former Jail for remediation of lead paint and asbestos.

“At a time when many of us are re-envisioning our communities and how we interact in them, these Brownfields funds can help catalyze positive change,” said Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “We appreciate EPA’s continued support in our redevelopment efforts.”

The 25 communities selected for FY20 RLF supplemental funding are:

Region

State

Cooperative Agreement Recipient Name

Funding

Region 1

ME

Greater Portland Council of Governments

$180,000

Region 1

ME

Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

$300,000

Region 1

ME

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission

$180,000

Region 1

VT

Northwest Regional Planning Commission

$180,000

Region 1

RI

Pawtucket, City of

$180,000

Region 1

VT

Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission

$180,000

Region 1

VT

Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

$300,000

Region 2

NJ

Camden Redevelopment Agency

$300,000

Region 2

NY

New York, City of

$300,000

Region 2

NY

Niagara County

$300,000

Region 3

PA

Montgomery, County of

$300,000

Region 3

PA

Northampton, County of

$300,000

Region 3

PA

Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development

$300,000

Region 4

GA

Atlanta, City of

$300,000

Region 4

KY

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

$300,000

Region 4

KY

Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government

$300,000

Region 5

IN

Indiana Finance Authority

$300,000

Region 6

OK

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

$300,000

Region 6

OK

Tulsa, City of

$300,000

Region 6

LA

South Central Planning and Development Commission

$300,000

Region 6

TX

Texarkana, City of

$300,000

Region 7

MO

Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis County

$300,000

Region 7

MO

Springfield, City of

$300,000

Region 8

MT

Snowy Mountain Development Corporation

$300,000

Region 9

CA

Humboldt, County of

$300,000

Background

A brownfield is a property where the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.

Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfields Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. Under President Trump, over 70% of the communities selected for Brownfields grants in 2019 were located in Opportunity Zones. Brownfields grants have been shown to:

  • Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfield sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
  • Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfield sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.

As of February 2020, under the EPA Brownfields Program, 31,516 properties have been assessed and 92,047 acres of idle land have been made ready for productive use. In addition, communities have been able to use Brownfields grants to attract 160,306 jobs and more than $31 billion of public and private funding.

The 2021 National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on April 26-30, 2021 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing formerly utilized commercial and industrial properties. EPA cosponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association.

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields

For more on Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

For more information on Opportunity Zones: https://www.epa.gov/opportunity-zones

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